Zakat causes bloodbath in Pakistan this RamadanAugust 16, 2012
Our first story on the ongoing zakat street war in Pakistan comes from the Daily Times which reports that “the extortion mafia of Karachi generates billions of rupees in the Ramzan [Ramadan] season.” The Times further reports rampant grenade attacks this “holy month” by the bhatta extortion mafia on Karachi’s small businesses and chain stores:
Karachi extortion : Trend of grenade attacks on markets terrorises traders
The recent trend of grenade attacks of shops and markets that refuse extortion has terrorised local traders and businessmen, besides totally blackened the chances of further investment in Karachi.
All Pakistan Organization of Small Traders and Cottage Industries (APOSTCI) Karachi chapter president Mehmood Hamid said in past the extortionists backed by the ruling parties used to send bullets wrapped in extortion demand chits to Karachi traders, but embolden by covet backing from the corridors of power, now these mafia men are hurling grenades on shops and markets that refuse or delay Bhatta.
He said a famous chain store at NIPA Chowrangi was attacked with grenade. Last week shops at Yousuf Plaza and Water Pump were attacked with hand grenades and earlier grenades were hurled in bazaars of Hussainabad, Liaquatabad and Quaidabad by extortionists. He said the APOSTCI has record of more than one dozen such grenade attacks in Karachi.
He said extortion mafia is collecting forces Fitra and Zakat at the rate of Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000 per shop in Karachi, but the police and administration are playing the role of silent spectator. He said small traders are the worst affected segment of society due to Karachi lawlessness and a lot of small trades and cottage industries have closed their doors for good due to lack of business. He demanded of the government to realise the gravity of the situation as the ongoing ‘Bhatta war’ in Karachi is hitting hard the economy of not only Karachi but also the whole country.
He said in a recent meeting with Inspector General of Police Fayyaz Ahmed Laghari at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry they presented all these details and requested the provincial police chief to provide security to traders and industrialists in Karachi. He warned if the situation did not improve the small traders would close down their markets as a protest after Eid as they are left with no other option.
Separately, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Sindh chapter amir Asadullah Bhutto and ex-MPA Muhammad Yunus Barai in a joint statement expressed their grave concern on the ongoing ‘bhatta war in Karachi and termed it a bad omen for trade and industry in the mega city. They regretted that three major parties, sharing rule in provincial and federal governments have failed to provide their voters safety and security. They said strangely these ruling coalition parties often hold one another for targeted killings and extortion collection in Karachi, convincing the general public that there is some truth in the allegations.
They feared that the ongoing ‘Bhatta war’ between the ruling parties would pick up more steam in the last 10 days of the holy Ramazan, when the Eid shopping season would be at its peak and the city might witness more violence and bloodbath. They said the extortion mafia of Karachi generates billions of rupees in the Ramzan season, which is the biggest shopping season of the year. They appealed to the judiciary, civil society and media to take a serious notice of the Karachi situation and save its citizens and traders from the ruthless criminals and extortionists.
Violence erupts in Orangi after killing over Eid donations
KARACHI: A young factory worker was killed, three other persons were wounded in firing and two buses and a shop torched on Thursday in Orangi Town violence that erupted after a man was killed in a clash over collection of Zakat and Fitra in Bangla Bazaar, police said.
The violence was sparked on Wednesday evening when three people, including an activist of the Pakistan People’s Party, were attacked in the market in a dispute over collection of money by a group distributing Zakat and Fitra slips in the market, said a senior police officer of the area.
“The dispute was over how another group was distributing slips of ‘Fitra’ to collect money from the market,” the officer added.
Karachi PPP leaders said that the party worker, Javed Behari, was shot dead for refusing to take the slip for payment of Fitra.
Immediately following the incident, the area reverberated with intense firing forcing closure of all markets within the remit of the Pakistan Bazaar police station…
Karachi Division PPP General Secretary Syed Najmi Alam strongly condemned the killing of the party worker, Mr Behari.
He said ‘terrorists’ were distributing slips for Zakat and Fitra in Bangla Bazaar and they opened fire on him when he declined to accept the slip.
Mr Alam said that every citizen of Karachi knew who distributed and collected Zakat and Fitra here and those refusing to pay were murdered. He called upon the law-enforcement agencies to rid the people of the menace of extortion in the name of Zakat and Fitra. He also demanded immediate arrest of the ‘identified’ suspected killers.
Following the funeral at a local mosque, Mr Behari was laid to rest in the Orangi Town Sector 15-D graveyard.